Report: Nissan Will Reject Latest Renault Bid to Merge

April 22, 2019 at 1:19 PM

Nissan Motor Co. will reject a new proposal from alliance partner Renault SA to further integrate the companies, sources tell The Nikkei.

Nissan will push instead for a more balanced capital arrangement in the existing 20-year-old alliance. Renault owns 43% of Nissan. Nissan holds a nonvoting 15% stake in Renault.

Nissan, along with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. affiliate, in which it holds a controlling 34% stake, contributed nearly two-thirds of the alliance’s 10.7 million unit sales last year. MMC joined the Renault-Nissan partnership in 2017.

The Nikkei notes that Renault’s new overture comes weeks after the French carmaker’s chairman insisted the company was suspending merger talks in favor of refocusing on the “intelligent merging of our cultures.”

Nissan has been signaling for more than a year that it wants more say in how the alliance progresses. The company also has been wary of the role of the French government, which owns 15% of Renault and has been an active influence on decisions made by the partnership

Ghosn, along with many observers, believe Nissan’s concerns about a merger helped drive Nissan’s investigation into suspicions of financial wrongdoing by Ghosn. He has been ousted as chairman of all three alliance partner companies since his arrest last November.